Let’s talk about potential members of the new Indy Car select committee that will help determine the future of the actual Indy Car. Randy Bernard talked about it on Wind Tunnel, and (this will keep the haters stocked with juvenile punch lines for a while) he has hired a General named Looney to head it up.
Indy Car issues a press release today, and the first line bothers me. It says: “As the next step in its search for the new iconic IZOD IndyCar Series CAR, the Indy Racing League has announced plans to develop an advisory committee representing key fields of the open-wheel racing industry to review research and recommend a future chassis and engine PLATFORM.” The wording makes it seem as if only ONE chassis and engine will be selected. That is a fatal mistake before it even gets going. I sincerely hope they are smarter than that. We have learned in recent years not to hold our collective breath.
The committee is supposed to represent key areas and will have someone from the IRL, a team owner, an engine expert, a promoter and an engineer. For the sake of intelligence let’s hope this does not become a cart III deal. If I was in Vegas and had a farm to bet, however, that is precisely the direction on which my agricultural entity would be placed. I have some ideas in the unlikely event they have not already made up their minds and are simply constructing the lip service to tongue down our throats:
-Include a fan representative for once. We pay many of the bills. Start listening.
-It is difficult to trust many at the IRL anymore so a selection of someone from there does not mean too much.
-One of the contributors to the blog yesterday thought Sarah Fisher would make a great owner representative. I happen to wholeheartedly agree. She epitomizes the grit and determination to bootstrap your way into growth, and I cannot think of a better person. She is young enough to remain around for a long time, and we need more like her in the next generation. As an added bonus, she is about the only owner fully committed to ovals. If any owner who was previously aligned with cart until anywhere in the 2000s is picked, the pool will be poisoned beyond hope. John Barnes might also be a good choice, as would someone from Dryer & Reinbold. Even A.J. Foyt would be great. I would consider Michael Andretti, but his cart baggage still gets toted and his enthusiasm for those God damned temporary street abominations clouds him as a choice.
-I love Honda, but get someone with not as narrow an agenda for the engine position.
-Engineering is a tricky one, but I would follow the same guidelines I offered for owners.
I really find my recent cynicism troubling, but since 1979 every possible fan group that could be alienated has been at one time or another. You cannot treat fans with contempt and expect to grow. We need to evolve toward the future, not toward cart in the mid-1990s.
-I don’t know where these two might fit in, but inclusion of Eddie Cheever and Buddy Lazier seems like a great idea. They are smart and articulate and both did not have the easiest of times most of the time. Both, however, had special years.
Management by committee scares the hell out of me.